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Population weighted density of cities

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Because of a relatively small population and urban sprawl, city density is much lower than what is experienced in other countries. Population density is measured by the number of people per square kilometres. While many argue that low density is a positive thing, it does impact other important quality-of-living factors, such as public transport services, social services and car dependency.

There are numerous ways of calculating urban density. Open space on the edge of the metropolitan areas can often skew densities. We have therefore searched for a more suitable approach. 'Charting Transport.com' have devised an approach that only includes populated areas.  Population weighted density is a weighted average of the density of all the parcels of land in the city, with the population of each parcel of land providing the weighting. This provides a figure indicative of the residential density of the “average person”. A city where a large proportion of people live in dense areas will have a much higher weighted population density than average population density. The data is based on 2011 census data.

The measure is Pop-weighted density, persons/ hectare (all SA1s)

High is good

Source: Charting Transport, 2014

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